Wednesday, 19 December 2007

First for Australia at Westmead

The specially-equipped, custom-designed laboratories of CellBank Australia, based at The Children's Medical Research Institute, at Westmead, have been completed and the facility is now open for services and cell line deposits.
The new facility will be the first national repository for certified cell lines for researchers in Australia.
CellBank, with state-of-the-art facilities comprising two clean rooms, a combined quality control room and office, and a freezer room, will be stocked with all of the necessary cell culture equipment, which includes 16 incubators and three liquid nitrogen containers with the capacity of the hold 20,000 samples each.
CellBank Australia, an initiative of CMRI's Cancer Research Unit head, Professor Roger Reddel, and Cure Cancer Australia Foundation, was established as a joint venture of the CMRI, Cure Cancer Australia Foundation and National Breast Cancer Foundation, and by an enabling grant of the National Health and Medical Research Council.


New director at CMRI

Professor Roger Reddel has been appointed director, of the Children's Medical Research Institute (CMRI) , at Westmead, following the retirement of Professor Peter Rowe, in July, after 26 years at the helm.
"The board is delighted to appoint Professor Roger Reddel as the CMRI director. Roger is an internationally acclaimed medical researcher who will build on the outstanding foundations established by Professor Peter Rowe, and lead CMRI into its next phase in research and development, " said CMRI president and chairman of the board, Associate Professor, Frank Martin.
Professor Reddel led CMRI's Cancer Research Unit for 19 years filled the position as acting director of CMRI from July. Professor was recently awarded the prestigious Ramaclotti Medal for Excellence in Biomedical Research.
CMRI celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2008.


Fight to save the RiverCat

A Brisbane-based Tourism Media study of tourism trends places Parramatta sixth on a list of Australia's top 10 destinations for domestic tourists and has lent weight to the campaign to save the RiverCat ferry service from Circular Quay to Parramatta, according to the Parramatta Sun.
"Keeping the ferry going ... would have to be a major thing as far as Parramatta tourism in concerned. The ferry should be promoted as it was the way many tourists liked to arrive in Parramatta," said the company's communications manager, Todd Levi.
By coincidence on Monday, the state MP for Parramatta, Tanya Gadiel, state opposition transport spokesperson, Gladys Berejiklan, Parramatta Liberal councillor, John Chedid, and Parramatta Chamber of Commerce president, Roman Dechnicz, were at the Charles Street wharf at the same time to express their views on the future of the service.
A state government-commissioned report has recommended the cessation of the service to Parramatta. The Minister for Transport, John Watkins, said he would consider all the report's recommendations next year.


BizBriefs. Parramatta and Western Sydney

Awards for medical research
A total of $275,000 from The Millennium Foundation has been awarded to 41 researchers at Westmead Hospital. The grants were presented by federal MP for Parramatta, Julie Owens, who won the nominal Liberal seat for Labor with a swing of more than 7 per cent.
API open to consolidation
Camellia-based Australian Pharmaceutical Industries said it is prepared to discuss common distribution facilities with ots competitors to cut costs.
Westpac purchase
Westpac Funds Management has bought the 14,615-square-metre Westpac Data Centre, at North Ryde, for $42.5 million, from the Investa Property Group.
Corporates join fight against climate change
The following based in Parramatta or with facilites in the city have joined with Parramatta City Council in the fight against climate change: Coleman & Greig, Department of State and Regional Development, NSW Police Force, Parramatta Leagues Club, Sydney Turf Club and St George Bank. Council's program is open to businesses with 50 or more employees.

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